“Look at all the bikes!” they exclaimed. Cheering with them in excitement were their teachers, administrators and members of club named Motorcycle Cannonball.
Physical education specialist Brian Shelton applied for a grant with the club, and the school now has enough bicycles to teach kindergartners how to ride. The Strider bikes are designed to help children gain balance before they’re ready to use pedals.
“This isn’t a one-day event; this will last a lifetime for our kindergartners,” said principal Dr. Catrina Manigo. “Balance and hand-eye coordination from riding a bicycle will also help these students with their reading and writing skills.”
Virginia Beach was the first stop on the club’s trip across the country on antique motorcycles, giving away bicycles at schools from the East Coast to California.
“We found that a lot of kids don’t have the chance to have a bicycle or learn how to ride,” said Jason Sims, club owner. “We hope they learn on these bicycles and maybe they’ll own their own motorcycle someday.”
Club members spent about an hour assembling the bikes before students walked outside to see their shiny, new pieces of PE equipment. Kindergartners donned shower caps and helmets before taking a spin on the bright white bicycles.
The morning ended with club members showing the students some cowboy rope tricks and riding around the basketball court on an antique motorbike, but the highlight by far was the bicycle riding. More than a third of the 65 kindergartens rode a bike for the first time that day, thanks to the generosity of Motorcycle Cannonball.
Kindergartener Quamier Gibbs summed it up the best.
“Weee!” he said, all while doing bicycle laps around his teachers.